PLoS ONE (2014-01-01)

Coordination of gene expression and growth-rate in natural populations of budding yeast.

  • Zvi Tamari,
  • Dalia Rosin,
  • Yoav Voichek,
  • Naama Barkai

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 2
p. e88801


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Cells adapt to environmental changes through genetic mutations that stabilize novel phenotypes. Often, this adaptation involves regulatory changes which modulate gene expression. In the budding yeast, ribosomal-related gene expression correlates with cell growth rate across different environments. To examine whether the same relationship between gene expression and growth rate is observed also across natural populations, we measured gene expression, growth rate and ethanol production of twenty-four wild type yeast strains originating from diverse habitats, grown on the pentose sugar xylulose. We found that expression of ribosome-related genes did not correlate with growth rate. Rather, growth rate was correlated with the expression of amino acid biosynthesis genes. Searching other databases, we observed a similar correlation between growth rate and amino-acid biosyntehsis genes in a library of gene deletions. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding how cells coordinate their translation capacity with available nutrient resources.